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Cases for Practice - Marketing Colour – an Asian Paints Case Study

Autor:   •  October 31, 2015  •  Case Study  •  2,274 Words (10 Pages)  •  548 Views

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Cases for Practice

 Marketing Colour – An Asian Paints case study

Paint Industry

Paint product category is peculiar in many ways. Repainting frequency of 4 – 5 years and high cost of painting a home are the traits of a consumer durable category. However, requirement of a strong distribution system and lower consumer involvement are the traits of FMCG category. Consumers buy paint in containers whereas what they actually need a ‘painted surface’. In a way, paint industry is not a ‘product’ industry, but, rather a ‘product plus process’ industry and the process of translating ‘can of paint’ to ‘painted surface’ has implications on consumer behaviour.

Who is the customer?

Traditionally, a customer is the one who completes the purchase transaction and consumes the purchased product. In that sense, a home dweller is the customer for paint product. However, a paint customer has very little control on the outcome of the painting process. His own technical knowledge is low. There are several uncontrollable factors that determine the quality of the output of painting at his home such as surface conditions (moisture, cracks, unevenness, poor adhesion, etc), skill of the painters, painting system used and quality of paints, undercoats and application tools. All these factors lead to customers having no control on the outcome and cost of painting. This is a single most negativity associated with painting process which sometimes makes customers avoid or postpone the painting process itself. On the other hand, invariably, once the painting process is over, customers are left with bright looking homes with a newness that cheers them up. Most of the time, painting itself is a pre-cursor to some big occasion in the life of the customer family such as new home entry or some festival or wedding in the family or some special occasion. Hence, at the end of the ‘painful painting process’, there is a joy and new look to home and the personality of the customer. A paint customer goes through this ‘pain vs joy’ dilemma all the time.

The other outcome of the lack of customer’s control on painting process is his dependence on ‘influencers’ like painting contractors, paint retailers and architects and interior decorators. At home, the entire family gets involved in decision making which are largely on areas of colour selection and budget. Thus, in paint industry, instead of a unique ‘customer person’, there is a ‘customer unit’ that comprises of chief wage earner, his family, their influencers like contractors / architects / interior decorators. The marketing plans in the industry therefore become far more complex in comparison to conventional FMCG industry.

The dependence on influencers, lack of complete control on the process and pain associated with the process all lead to lower customer involvement in paint purchase. In fact, this involvement varies across different stages of the painting process. The involvement with ‘homes’ and ‘home improvement’ is high, but, low with the painting process. The area where customer involvement is high is ‘colour’.

The primary need for painting is for ‘protection’ and ‘décor’ of the home. The protection is implicit in decision making. On the other hand, ‘décor’ is an over-arching need when a customer decides to paint his home. Invariably, a customer likes to ‘show off’ his newly painted home to his friends, neighbors and relatives and he likes to earn ‘social appreciation’ from them in return. This drives him to look at ideas to make his home look different from others so that he can earn

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